CL269: James Taylor interviews Jay Papasan and they talk about the one thing to write a bestseller

Using The One Thing To Write A Bestseller

Jay Papasan is the co-author of The One Thing, a #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller with over 450 appearances on national bestseller lists and more than 30 translations around the world. Before Jay Papasan co-authored The ONE Thing and the bestselling Millionaire Real Estate series with Gary Keller, he worked as an editor at Harper Collins Publishers. There he worked on such best-selling books as Body-for-Life by Bill Phillips and Go for the Goal by Mia Hamm. Jay also co-owns a successful real estate team affiliated with Keller Williams Realty with his wife Wendy in Austin, TX.

James Taylor interviews Jay Papasan and they talk about the one thing to write a bestseller

In this episode, we cover:

  • Understanding Book Contracts
  • Time blocking to get your writing done
  • Applying The ONE Thing to write a bestselling business book

Resources:

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Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

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James Taylor
Hi, I’m James Taylor business creativity and innovation keynote speaker. And this is the Creative Life, a show dedicated to you the creative. If you’re looking for motivation, inspiration and advice, while at home at work or on your daily commute, then this show is for you. Each episode brings you a successful creative, whether that’s an author, musician, entrepreneur, perform a designer, or a thought leader. They’ll share with you their journey, their successes, their failures, their creative process, and much much more. You’ll find Show Notes for this episode as well as free training on creativity over at James taylor.me. Enjoy this episode.

Hi, it’s James Taylor here. Today’s episode was first aired as part of International Authors Summit. This inspiring virtual summit reveals the secrets of making marketing and monetizing a best selling book. If you would like to access the full video version as well as in depth sessions with over 40 Best Selling authors that I’ve got a very special offer for you just go to InternationalAuthorsSummit.com, where you’ll be able to register for a free pass for the summit. Yeah, that’s right. Over 40 New York Times and Amazon best selling authors, book editors, agents and publishers, sharing their insights, strategies and tactics on how to write and market your first or next best sellers. So just go to InternationalAuthorsSummit.com, but not before you listen to today’s episode.

Hey there, it’s James Taylor, and I’m delighted today to welcome Jay Papasan. Jay present is co author of The One Thing a number one Wall Street Journal bestseller with over 450 appearances on national bestseller lists and more than 30 translations around the world. Before Jay Papasan co authored the one thing and the best selling millionaire real estate series with Gary Keller. He worked as an editor at HarperCollins Publishers. There he worked on such bestselling books as body for life by Bill Phillips and go for the goal by Meaghan j also Colin’s a successful real estate team affiliated with Keller Williams Realty with his wife Wendy, in lovely Austin, Texas. So welcome, Jay, on to this interview.

Jay Papasan
Thanks for having me back.

James Taylor
So share with everyone what’s happening in your world just now what are you currently working on?

Jay Papasan
Oh, gosh, we are currently hard at work trying to see if we can write a fable around the one thing we’ve been wanting to follow it up. And just to make things interesting, we thought we tackle you know how to figure out what your purpose is. So that’s been a big project this year. And we’re also wrapping up work on our very first book, The Millionaire real estate agent, we’re updating it after gosh, that would be 14 years of publication. They’re ready for another round. So I’ve got two concurrent projects working most of my focus is on the fable today.

James Taylor
Now I mentioned you you had this other life before at HarperCollins did that equip you with some secret powers when it came to launching and putting your own books out into the world?

Jay Papasan
It was really helpful because at HarperCollins the you know, I started as an editorial assistant where everybody started On the editorial side, they make you do everything. We joyfully called it the salt mine. And editorial systems there. It didn’t just write jacket copy and rejection letters. When you had a contract, you often I would often do the first round of negotiations with an agent. We would then run it up to legal and then when the manuscript showed up, we would work it to editorial with our editor. And then we would take it through proofreading and design. So we had to kind of Shepherd the projects. And what was great is I got visibility in all the aspects of how books are actually made and marketed, didn’t always have responsibility for all the jobs because in the beginning, as an editorial assistant, you’re dealing that with a senior editor, and they stepped in for the into the sales staff, etc, etc. But you saw it all and my big aha, as an author was I learned what contracts were all about. And I think one of the biggest mistakes that would be business authors make is that They’re so happy that a publisher is willing to entertain publishing them. They don’t really properly negotiate for themselves and certainly not for the book that’s going to serve their business. So that was my, my biggest thing that I learned that I didn’t expect to learn was about contract law. So we’re the in it. I remember doing music games, I’ve done a couple of book book agreements for clients. By remember when doing the music agreements, it was always like that first page had all the things that they obviously wanted the artists to really pay to really know about to get feel good about. And then there was like 40 pages of all the reasons why they would never see money at the end of the day. So what are the what are the traditional landmines that are in there? I don’t know if in the book industry, they do like cross collateralization. Is that something that happens there? What are some of the dangers that authors have to

James Taylor
be aware of?

Jay Papasan
I think the number one thing that I tell people first is have someone negotiate on your behalf. If you don’t have an agent, there are publishing attorneys. I have one fabulous lady. She may hate me for this right. I’m Debra Orenstein. in Minneapolis, she used to, I think, did contracts for hold for many, many years. So she’s very intimately involved, then she goes on a fee basis, I just pay I don’t want to pay her a percentage. And she advocates for me. So I’m a big advocate for having an advocate first, because her job all day long is to know publishing law. And the absence of that. Most contracts don’t have any termination termination clause. So essentially, whether your publishing partner is carrying their water or not, right, they’re, they’re being a good partner or not, your editor might get fired, the person who was in love with your book may leave, you know, and then you’re an orphan. You’re still stuck with that publisher until the copyright expires. So is there grounds for termination? Can they actually default, in most publishing contracts, the publisher can’t actually default, there’s no grounds for termination. Also own multiple books. So the language is called the option clause and if I’m getting to nitty gritty here, just give me a throat. This is great. I usually ask what’s the option they have? I think if they’re a good partner, I’m always willing to give them a 30 or a 60 day option on my next book proposal, but they don’t have a right to publish it. So I’m still a free agent. Because we were partners, I’m going to give them the first shot, and I might be willing to give them a chance to match any offer, so they can keep me. But if they have an absolute option on my next word, then you may be a prisoner of a bad partner. Okay. And I had a good friend that signed a three book contract, not knowing she had signed a three book contract was very unhappy with the first book. And you probably saw this in the record industry. There are some famous albums. I’m trying to think was it the great rock and roll swindled by the sex pistol was their option album they threw together just to get out of the contract. Yeah, and I used to be a fan growing up as a little punk rocker in Memphis, Tennessee, so there are actually some good tracks on that, but there’s some legendarily bad albums because of that, there’s some really bad books because of that, too. So, first off, how do I end this agreement? What are the rights on my future work? And then you hit on the other one is how do I get paid? Most publishing agreements, I want to put this politely It’s a small world. The fairest way i can say is the standard agreement is draconian. I mean, everything is tilted to the publisher. But there’s also this nod, nod, wink wink that everyone expects everyone to negotiate. So nothing is written right in stone. So you go in and say you’re offering me 700%. I want 15%. Great, let’s go 10%. But if you don’t negotiate, you’ve started from the worst possible financial position. So unless you’re somebody, they usually give you a boilerplate contract that everything is tilted in their favor. So those would be the top three for me. You know, it’s make sure you’re not a prisoner to the contract itself. Make sure make sure you’re not a prisoner to feel works and make sure that you’re going to be paid fairly if you deliver and they deliver.

James Taylor
Now, having said all that, so you know, where the bodies are buried in these agreements, you know, how difficult can be with those agreements. But I noticed that with your books that you go out, you put out with them, you have a kind of interesting kind of model. So you have a publishing business almost like an imprint, but then you go out through traditional publishers into a so you, you obviously can decide, I think some of the books will be McGraw Hill and some. So talk to me like when you had to make that decision of like, you could have absolutely just built up your own publishing gone directly that independent way, you could have just gone fully into the trad side, but you you choose a slightly different way of doing it. So can you just talk to your thinking there?

Jay Papasan
Sure. Well, when we first started in 2003, the world was very different. We didn’t get any offers on our first book, we had one offer from amacom. For 220 $5,000. That was our advance and they paid bigger advances back then. So that actually wasn’t a lot, given what we thought we could do. And so we sell publish the book. And because Gary Keller had built a company, that’s my co author, right, we had a network to distribute it through, we actually sold 100,000 copies all by herself. The book was ugly. I mean, it looked like a textbook, right? Because self publishing wasn’t then what it is today. And, but we sold 12,000 copies on Amazon, which was still 2003, that was still kind of a new thing. And I remembered editor solid, we were number one of the real estate category. And that’s how we got acquired by McGraw Hill. And we will with McGraw Hill, because back then, there was no way for a self published author to end up in bookstores without a publisher. And so we reserve some channel channels that we’d already built, and we let them have the trade channels. And that’s how we ended up with that partnership for many of our books. today. The one thing we published with the Bard press, and there’s a new breed of publishers, there’s not a lot of them around. Some of the big companies have experimented with it. I think Harper had Harper studio for a while whereas ventually your co publishing. And that’s our relationship with the one thing. Legendary publisher brings wonderful insights has all of the power of the National Book network for distribution and inventory, all the things that you need a publisher to do. But we essentially walk in and we’re risking our money instead of asking him to risk hit so we pay for the first print run. But we also get the publishers income on the book sales. So there’s different models right now, the the publisher takes all the risk in New York, and that’s why you get seven and a half percent of gross or whatever that is, and they get to keep whatever they get to profit on.

James Taylor
If you go in and you’re writing the check for the print, run, and you’re at risk, you’re entitled to more money. And there are more models that do that today. And those who bought press, they, they actually they don’t publish a lot of books is that I actually have a small number of books that one one a year, one a year, so so they have put their they’re putting a huge amount of focus on you as, as their Client have, you know, author as well. So they, they’re only going to make that decision if they feel that is stacked,

Jay Papasan
you know, well in their favor. Yeah, I had to woo Ray Bard for about three and a half years to get to work with him. And he doesn’t even. So everybody’s gonna rush off and try to Google them and send them a script. He doesn’t do any unsolicited manuscripts. So good luck, everybody. But there are other publishers out there like that. And now, publishers group West and National Book network are two huge distribution hubs. But they actually a lot of small publishers essentially do all of their back office through them inventory supply, fulfillment all happens through those networks. So I mean, you can be a one person show and effectively be your own publisher today. So it’s a very different world. You would just have to have the contracts. But the folks the good, folks, I’m looking at my bookshelf. Strength Finders, right. Tom Rath. For several years. That whole they had been with a publisher they moved they basically started their own imprint at one of these big Distribution hubs. They circulated their own books, eventually, I think they got bought up by Simon and Schuster, our crown, I can’t remember, they ended up going back because they got a great offer. But I think today’s authors, business authors have a choice, I can self publish, I can go with a traditional publisher. Or I can look for one of these hybrid combinations where I have a job. And I have financial responsibilities attached to it. But I can get all the benefits of big publishing without necessarily some of the downsides. So there’s just a lot more offerings out there. Now,

James Taylor
one of that’s a great just to get an understanding of the landscape and had landscapes changed over the years. So you wrote this, authored this book, the one thing phenomenal book is probably my most suggested book that’s just over the past 12 months, I’ve just taught so many people about it, it’s like one thing and I’ve, I’ve spoken at events, and then I’ve mentioned it as well to audiences. So that so there’s one thing for people that haven’t read the book yet, explain that the central premise of it and then when it comes to To the world, the audience of authors or aspiring authors, how does it How can it help them?

Jay Papasan
Sure. So the big idea on the one thing. So it’s been talked about so much, right? Essentially, it’s focused on what matters. But the idea is giving people a process for identifying their number one priority, and then giving it the bulk of their time and energy. And it sounds really simple. And it is really simple. It’s just hard to actually execute. If you’ve tried to live the book, you’ve now that on a day to day basis, focusing on your number one priority is tough. So that’s 220 pages, trying to walk you through why that matters, how one does it and how one maximizes that lifestyle really does simplify things and it accelerates your outcomes massively. I kind of fail on a daily basis just like everybody else, but I’ve been doing it for 18 years with Gary Keller. I feel like I’m overall pretty focused and I know where I should be spending my time. When I think about authors and the one thing You know, when we were writing this book, we lived it. And so you identify your priority and we call it time blocking. You know, Gary, and I just sat down and said, When are we writing. And most everyone in our world for several years knew that between 10 o’clock in the morning and 2pm, we were holed up downstairs in our conference room, we would break for lunch. And that would be a chance for our staff to get in, and, hey, what’s happening, but essentially, it was four hours, four days a week. We did not write on Mondays usually, because that was our day to meet with our staff. But that was our schedule. So we knew that we had a quantified amount of time to focus on this one thing, and it was big blocks of time for hours. Yeah, this is the chairman of the board of largest real estate company in the world, devoting that much time to one project. But that’s how we got it to the finish line. And instead of it just being good, it actually ended up being pretty good results. I’ll stand by the track record in the field. It’s done pretty well, but we gave it a tremendous energy. For a burst of time, that’s how we got to the finish line.

James Taylor
And there was the thing I remember, someone asked me about the book, and I’m gonna paraphrase that I probably make a really bad job of it. So you’re going to have to correct me. Oh, perfect. Yeah. So it’s. So when thinking about that one thing, what is the one thing that if done well, will make everything else either easier? Or unnecessary

Jay Papasan
focusing question focusing question. So

James Taylor
I asked myself that multiple times a day now after having read that, but I think that’s a phenomenal question. Just to get it is a question. It makes you pull up, pull back a little bit, and there’s a lot of things you suddenly realize you don’t really need to do not necessarily in that order.

Jay Papasan
Oh, yeah. So it’s very specific language. And it’s a lot to remember. But once you kind of internalize it, you can kind of say, what’s my one thing, but what’s the one thing I can do? Such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary? So it’s one thing it’s not things. Your brain is really good and my experience at figuring out what the one thing is, most of the time we actually get to the end of the day and feel guilty for not having done that thing, because may be our number one priority, but it may not always be the easiest thing on the menu or the most pleasant thing, right? It’s just the priority. It’s something that you can do. It’s not that you could should or would write those are different verbs. And you want to think about what can I actually do today? Because that gets you results. And it’s so leveraged, right? We talked about the domino metaphor. It’s your first domino, and it always has a bunch stacked up behind it. So when you knock it over, you just get a whole bunch of impact. Everything else is easier or unnecessary. And I’ll tell you, everybody who started living the book, they want everything to be unnecessary. The reality is, a lot of times when you do the one thing, it just does make things a lot easier. All right, postpones needing to do them. It’s business. Yeah, there’s still things that have to be done. You have to hit some of those things on the checklist, whether you like them or not, just because they have to be done but it does get easier when you’re doing your one back

James Taylor
after I was talking to a marketer with Perry Marshall, great marketer, very good at in terms of Google ads, understanding SEO, and we were talking about the Pareto principle which this kind of leads leads from, you know, that the idea that 8020 rule, and one of the things he said to me, he said, he said, You have to really change that. The Pareto principle 8020 rule is fractal. So essentially means 64, four, or 51. So 1% of things, you do deliver 50% of the results. And then that kind of got me thinking back to, you know, this book again, which is that anything that can be right, and you sit and figure now that is actually correct.

Jay Papasan
I don’t know that the numbers always perfectly line up. But the principle is absolutely true. I actually did that. You know, we have 180,000 real estate agents in Gary’s company that we’ve incubated our publishing company out of, and I did the math last year, and 80% of all the real estate sold in our company was sold by you guessed it 20% of the realtors and it was to zero. I didn’t round up or anything. And then I played with it, and 10% of them sold something like 55% of the real estate, it’s still massively disproportionate, you get down to the top 1%. And they’re selling like 30% of all the real estate. So it is, I don’t know if that’s the definition of fractal are not. But it’s exponential curve when you get into those smaller and smaller. If I focus on this group, I get much larger impact. So

James Taylor
for our audience, I’m going to imagine someone that’s listening watching to this just now, there may be a speaker, they may have a training business, they’ll maybe be consulting and they want to get that first book they have, they have expertise in whatever their areas they want to get that first book out, when when their their weakest being divided amongst traveling and speaking and and putting this workshop thing together. And then there’s an admin stuff together, how we think about that one thing, how you can figure that pile, for someone like that in terms of writing that book.

Jay Papasan
Well for writing the book, I can give you that formula in terms of their business. It’s really about their business. Like every business has an economic model. And there’s always a first domino there, right that if you did this, everything that came after it would be better. And in our business, the first domino is giving people the book, right? I mean, it becomes the ultimate calling card for our other businesses. All of the books we’ve written, 11 of them have been essentially, really high value marketing pieces. I mean, nobody’s gonna, there’s never been a review. Please, Lord, let this be true. But out of the 2500 reviews on Amazon, I don’t think any of them says this is a marketing book. But when we looked at it, we said, we know something, and we want to share it with the world. So if you write a great book, it becomes an amazing calling card for your consulting business or your speaking business. And my friends who’ve written books that are public speakers have been immediately able to double their fees. Yeah, whether the book was a best seller or not, because it gives them validity. I wrote the book on x or we wrote the book on X, therefore, you ought to have me come in, and we’ll talk about x. So it helps you get leads, it helps you convert leads, and it usually gets you to convert leads at a higher price point. So I see the book as a part of a great business’s economic model. Like for you, it might be your product isn’t a book, it might be the summit, right? What’s the first domino AI books come up a lot, because they are while it can be labor intensive to create one. It’s a known quantity, and you can make it happen and the people who are speaking consulting, they already have the ideas the challenge for them is getting them packaged in a way that’s attractive to people.

James Taylor
And it can also it’s one of those things obviously creating intellectual property there has a long lifespan like you after you pass away plus 70 years that’s going to go to your families and, and relatives as well. So, if you think about that lead Domino being the book, then the one thing from that and I because I in terms of getting measured is it Just getting that word count happening every day. That’s the that’s the kind of actionable parameter I remember seeing in terms of in the world of realty seeing how the one thing was being applied there. And it was as it was the number of of listings, I think it was, it was getting kind of listings. That was the kind of key when the key kind of KPI so in the case of authors isn’t, isn’t getting that word count happening.

Jay Papasan
I studied writing for a long time, you know, you look at some of the greats. And you know, Tom Wolfe, I think he wrote something like crazy, like 10,000 words a day, like that was his like, and then I knew other people who measured it by the number of hours they work, not their actual output. I think you should have a measurement right for me and Gary, it was time it wasn’t pages. We knew that time on the task would eventually yield the product we wanted. I do know people who’ve simply gone in and said, Look, if I write one page today, you know, every year I’ll generate a book. That’s just how it works. Yeah. So if they it’s something they can stumble over, but it’s harder than You think write one page every day. And I think

James Taylor
Roald Dahl I believe it’s Roald Dahl day to day as we’re filming this, the children’s authors. His was seven pencils. He would every day he would sit down his little cabinet and he would sharpen seven pencils. And when he got when all seven pencils were blunt, that was his day. He measured his day by day pencils. It’s a little

Jay Papasan
different when you’re writing a business book than if you’re writing fiction. If I’m writing fiction, and I’ve done some of that, right, I think it’s easier to go on word count and page count. If you’re writing nonfiction, there’s a process right? You have to think about how is this book organized because it’s not flowing out as a narrative, necessarily? What are the topics I’m going to address? What’s the order, I’m going to address them in? And then you have to execute each of those. So the way we actually did it, if you want to know is when we had outlined the one thing, we’ve broken it up into the big sections and then those sections into sections. We’d like literally got binders, right? Old Fashioned binders is where we started. And for every chapter of the book, we created a section in the binder. And then we each we divvied it up and I said, Look, I’ve got, you know, everything matters equally is a lie, right, which is our first lie, which is where we talked about Plato’s principle. Well, we started writing in there, what are all of our thoughts on this? What do we come to the table? We read books, we looked at our bookshelves, what have other people had to say about this, what our famous quote and relate to this. And our only job then is to pack that section with all our possible thoughts and ideas. And so there was a certain amount of time, right. And a lot of people do this over time, but we just were being very focused on it. That’s how we approach books. So we have our outline. We’ve got we had two full times researchers helping us but you can totally do this by yourself. You pack all the ideas in there, and then when it’s time to write, I would look through that outline, and be like, Okay, this month, I’m going to tackle This chapter. And because it is I’m thinking about it already, or I feel inspired to write it. And then my job is to take this massive paper, which is grown right into hundreds of pages sometimes of newspaper clippings. And then I start organizing that chapter. And I do the same process. Now, what are the four or five thoughts that make this chapter whole, and I break them into sections. And when I’m actually writing, I’m just taking a very thin stack of maybe two stories, a half dozen quotes, maybe a research study, and I’m writing that section of the book. And if you flip through the book with the column A heads or be heads, or one heads or two heads, there’s little sections in the book that are complete capsulize thoughts, the opening of a chapter, the meat of the chapter, some subsection of chapter, the finish, right, you might only have four or five sections. Each of those has their stack and that’s what I’m working on for the week. So you’ve taken this really big overwhelming project and systematically broken it into pieces. And when I show up to write I just Maybe 15 pieces of information. And I have to weave those together. And that creates a kind of flow. And sometimes the chapters flow from each to each, I wrote all the lies together. It took me about seven weeks to write those six chapters, maybe eight weeks. And then it took Gary came behind me and edited them, and added to them and removed from them. And it took him three months. So that entire process right was essentially five months to write five chapters. That was that was our process. But in the beginning, it was overwhelming.

James Taylor
So that at the start that you told about the outline process, how long did that that that part? So you figuring out and having those discussions about what your chapter your main parts were? And also be interested know, you went out through this hybrid publisher? Were you were you kind of creating that as almost like a book proposal using as a book proposal for them or were you writing this on spec? So you bet you’re going to write the book anyway. And then you kind of went and found your your partner that you wanted to put

Jay Papasan
When we had the idea, and we had two big, big breaks like this is what we think are the lies, we had a couple of big principles around it. We did not have the full outline when we pitch the book. But we had a track record. It was an idea that already existed in our company and had for a long time. So we’ve had a lot of anecdotes and evidence to support that approach. And we had started the process because we’ve maybe done this for two or three months, we’d spent brainstorming the book and that’s just flip charts and whiteboards. dedicate a few hours a lunch, so let’s get together talk about the book. And, you know, we’re reading books around the topic, and we’re coming back, hey, I think we should have a section on this. And we prioritize and reprioritize I think our outline ended up fitting on to flip chart pages, and that was it. And then when I typed it up and ran it by Ray, you know, at the time and he added to it, he goes well, where’s the section on how to implement it at work or whatever. And, you know, it was a group project because we’re not writing we’re writing as a team. Yeah. publisher was a part of that. So he definitely had input. But it was mostly Gary and I,

James Taylor
I’m trying to remember also how you handled you mentioned, like, the publisher was saying, you know, something in there for a team. I’m trying to remember that how you, you dealt with the, you know that this is a book that could be read as a self help book that could also be read as a manual for managers for executives. And that’s very few books are able to bridge those two worlds. And I wondered how you how you did that?

Jay Papasan
Gosh, that’s a great question. I’m thinking we really wanted to write a business book. And there’s a reason we wanted to keep the book in the business category. Because we’re business people and any, even though the book was its own outcome for us, like that was a goal in itself. We did want it to be something that our coaching company could leverage, right and our training company could leverage and so we had other business outcomes behind it. So it was important for us that it lives in business, not self help, okay. And the other reason is, if you look at The Wall Street Journal, that’s the only business left less this left there used to be Businessweek. That’s gone. If you’re a business author, you’re either on the New York Times monthly list, The New York Times weekly how to list or The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal is only hardcover of those three lists that is the most accessible to the average person. If you launch your book in hardcover, and it’s considered a business book, that’s what is catalogued. It really depends on the week. If you sell 1500 to 2000, through normal trade channels, and you’re not just buying them all in one bulk cell and loading them in your warehouse. They have checks and balances for that, right. It’s real people buying the books. If you can build that much of an audience, you have a chance of getting on the wall street. business person that’s a great out. I’m a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Yeah. Otherwise books in the self help category, the only list that you’re really going to achieve is going to be either the New York Times list, which means you’re competing with diet books, and celebrity how to books, which are very tough for the average business person to compete with, or the USA Today list, which combines all books, all formats. So now you’re competing with Patterson and crime novels. And it’s it’s just it’s much tougher. So from a outcome standpoint to reach our audience the fastest. We wanted to be a business book. But the nature of the topic, what’s the one thing I can do? Right? That’s not always a business answer. Yeah. The one thing I can do such that I mean, it might be getting more sleep, it might be lose more weight, so I have more energy when I go to work. And we ended up addressing, you know, your spiritual life, your physical health, all those things. So it’s a business book that very much applies to one’s whole life. The number one first use I see for people, a lot of people use it, the principles to apply to their health because we believe That’s foundational to your business life. And so they’d go back a step before they get to work they’re working out, or they’re eating properly. So it is kind of a self help book. But we very much wanted it to be seen as a business book first

James Taylor
go to and that was that was always something really fascinating, fascinating because you’ve managed to do a very difficult thing in doing that and being able to bridge bridge those in those ways.

Jay Papasan
As we start to finish up

James Taylor
here, I’d love to know what tools or apps do you find very useful for yourself as a writer in in writing and creating all these

Jay Papasan
works? I think Evernote, everyone’s going to tell you Evernote, right because if you do any web research, it allows you to quickly and easily organize it so I’ve been a power user on Evernote for how long has Evernote been around I mean, I really think it’s been 10 years I might be lying. It feels like at least a decade. I’ve been organizing tons of notes and thoughts and pictures in Evernote. A very simple piece of technology that every writer should have. I have a notebook. It goes with me everywhere I go and I Maybe call me old fashioned, but I think better on paper. And if you know our book, the one thing we have lots of drawings in it. And we we tend to think visually, especially for a business book, six out of 10 readers are actually visual learners, it actually helps them to see a visualization of the idea. So that this gives me a place to do that. So I always have a place to drop my ideas. Evernote allows me to store research around those ideas. Those are probably the top two tools I use outside of a word processor. And then what

James Taylor
if you do recommend one book? No, no one of your own books, but book it could be on the craft of writing. What would that book be?

Jay Papasan
Okay, I’m a big fan of Tim grace. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Tim or not. He marketed a lot of business books. I’m a fan of Chip and Dan Heath books, Daniel Pink’s books, and he’s very scientific about it. And he wrote a book called your first 1000 copies. And I give that book away a lot. Because it’s very true. He actually giving real numbers he’s very analytic. He was a programmer first. And he’s like, you know, when we did a social media posts, we sold this many when we had our mailing list, we did this many, it’s really a treaties and you need to build your list if you’re going to be an author. And that’s your foundation of your business. And he makes the argument I think powerfully, and truthfully, it’s not what a lot of people want to hear. But that’s how you build that fundamental audience. And that’s a great book, other books on just craft, like I give away with the Stephen King book on writing, I’m written that way a million times. And I identify with that, that’s in the fiction world, but he’s defending that you can still be an artist and be commercially viable. And I’ve always had that attitude. I mean, I never wanted to be a starving artist. I wanted to be a prospering artist, and there should be no shame around that. And it’s crazy how a lot of authors and writers like they they are self destructive, because they’re not They don’t want to actually feel complete. They want to be able to complain about not having success more than having success. And I don’t understand that.

James Taylor
I think part of that is also probably the media that the stereotype is quite useful to them. So they would rather talk about, you know, the Amy Winehouse type of story rather than the thousands of other musicians who are doing absolutely perfectly fine the kids and paying the mortgage and going out and touring and doing recording. That’s that’s a less interesting story,

Jay Papasan
probably for the media. So if a patriots perpetuates this myth and 40,

James Taylor
what I’m going to leave you with a final question here, as we start to wrap up, I’d love to know if you were to if you had to restart. So you had none of your books were out, no one knew who you was, you knew new one in the business. And you had to restart things. But thankfully, you’ve got all the skills or the knowledge you’ve acquired over the years. What would you do? How would you restart things?

Jay Papasan
I love that I think I focus on building my list again, because that’s gone. I had a list i got i keep a track. We have 177,000 emails right now. And like that’s our number one metric we track so I would start writing Again, how would I build my list? with things like Kindle singles and the ability to self publish and reach a very large audience, I probably would try to write some very, very short ebooks around very small problems that people faced in the area I was going into, and create lots of hooks and knows for people to click on and give me their email address. And it might just be hey, here’s the problem. I’ve built a handy worksheet for you to work through this for yourself. If you click here and go there, in my experience, we have links in our physical books. But when we did a promotion with Amazon Prime, and they gave away in two months, I think 56,000 copies of our ebooks, our reviews went through the roof, and our email capture went through the roof, because on a Kindle or on your iPad, it’s very easy to click those links and actually take those actions. And so I that’s where that would probably be my first tactic is can I solve very small problems so I can write those books quickly, I can bring great value, and I can make an extra offer so I can capture them and start a conversation in their inbox. And that’ll help you out how I’ll sell the next book and the next book in the next book and that will be the asset I’m trying to build. Does that make sense?

James Taylor
That’s a that’s some great advice there. And if people want to just reach out to you more generally like follow you on social media and things is a place to go and do that

Jay Papasan
because my name Jay Papasan. I’m the only person in America that has it I’m very global. So it’s very easy to find me but I’m, I’m pretty active on Instagram. I probably post a couple three times a week and I respond to direct messages. They’re on LinkedIn and Facebook. I’m just not as active on Facebook and LinkedIn as I am on Instagram because that’s actually my true diversion. perk to all this pictures, right?

James Taylor
We can put nice pictures of food nice pastor and things. So thank you, Jay, so much for coming on sharing your knowledge, your wisdom when it comes to One Thing fantastic. recommend it for anyone and I wish you all the best with whatever your one thing is that you’re you’re working on just now.

Jay Papasan
Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

James Taylor
If you’re interested in living a more creative life, then I’d love to invite you to join me as I share some of the most successful strategies and techniques that high performing creatives use. I put them all together in a free downloadable ebook that you can get by going to jamestaylor.me. That’s jamestaylor.me. To get your free downloadable ebook on creativity.

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